Science museum

The Science Museum wants their plastic samples. they refused

After Gündoğdu learned of the museum’s contract with Shell, he began to reconsider his decision. On November 5, he emailed the curator to let them know that due to the museum’s associations with Shell, he would no longer provide samples for the collection. “I’m trying to raise awareness about climate change and its effects and how to help people tackle this problem,” says Gündoğdu. Sending his samples to the Science Museum would contradict that message, he said.

But museum officials say Shell’s sponsorship has no influence on how it collects or displays the artifacts. “We entirely reject the false claim that our curators are in any way prevented from playing their vital role in an expert, independent and thorough manner,” said a spokesperson for the Science Museum Group. The spokesperson added that the museum retains full editorial control over the content of its exhibits and galleries and would not accept any relationship that would hinder the pursuit of its mission of collecting material or producing exhibits.

“Curators often discuss ongoing research with scientists to help them identify the appropriate items to acquire. This is just the start of a long process that includes extensive internal discussions and research before a formal acquisition is made, ”said Tilly Blyth, Collections Manager and Senior Curator of the Science Museum. “We respect the right of everyone to decide whether they wish to collaborate with us by donating items to the national collection. “

Shell also denied that its sponsorship of the climate change exhibit compromises the independence of the Science Museum. “We fully respect the independence of the museum. That’s why her exposure to carbon capture is important and why we supported her. Debate and discussion, between all who see it, is essential, ”said a Shell spokesperson. In 2020, Shell’s own reported greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 1.38 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, more than four times the annual emissions for the UK as a whole . According to the environmental charity Client Earth, Shell’s projected emissions between 2018 and 2030 alone will account for nearly 1.6% of the entire global carbon budget, the amount of carbon that can be released into the atmosphere anytime. by keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The Science Museum has been embroiled in a series of controversies surrounding Shell’s sponsorship of its Our Future Planet exhibit, which will run until September 2022. The exhibit focuses on technologies, including carbon capture and planting trees, which could be used to remove carbon. carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but the sponsorship has drawn strong criticism for allegedly greening Shell’s significant contribution to the climate crisis. The extraction and combustion of fossil fuels are the main contributors to global warming.

In September, the Science Museum announced that it would remove from the exhibition a sign created by a student for a climate protest in March 2019. The sign was recovered after a march in London in which around 10,000 young people gathered to protest the government’s inaction on climate issues. cash. The decision to remove the sign came in response to an open letter from the UK Student Climate Network, which called for the sign to be removed because the young people who gave it were not told about Shell sponsorship.


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